When Carpenter and Goodson realized hay could soak up oil and leave clean water behind, they got themselves an audience with the sheriff in Walton County. The sheriff called in the Coast Guard. The Coast Guard called in BP.
The demonstration went great. It even ended up on YouTube. But BP hasn't shown any interest.
But CW Roberts Contracting did make a deal with Walton County to clean up the beaches when the oil comes. And when the slick is hanging around off shore, they'll use hay to mop it up.
Carpenter is just one of many small business operators and entrepreneurs who are offering clean up solutions to BP. Another is Ed Corpora, of American Enterprise Products Corporation, whose company sells a peat moss product that contains microbes, which can literally eat oil from the water's surface. (Watch video of Corpora's demonstration here.)
And, First Line Technology, which markets a product similar to the Sham Wow (of TV informercial fame) that soaks up oil using three layers of super absorbant material. (Watch video of how it works here).
BP's website (top right under GOM Response-Contacts) asks the public "Do you have ideas to help us?" Despite that solicitation, none of the individuals or companies mentioned in this story have heard from BP, although all have inquired and expressed their interest in helping.
Monday on "Power Lunch" at 1pm ET, we'll report on another entrepreneurial solution for cleaning up leaking oil. It's a device that processes large volumes of liquid, as much as 5,000 gallons a minute, and separates oil from water. If placed aboard ships, it could help remove some of the crude spilling into the gulf.